Senate and House DFL lawmakers joined Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Commissioner Katrina Kessler this week to highlight the critical need for investments in local stormwater infrastructure. With the increase in extreme wet weather events due to climate change, stormwater systems in cities across the state are being pushed to the breaking point, resulting in increased flooding issues and damage to homes and businesses.
The governor has called for a $21 million investment from the Legislature to establish the Local Government Stormwater Construction Grant program, which would fund projects ranging from new or enhanced stormwater management systems to increase storage capacity by establishing rain gardens, tree trenches, and other natural water management tools. These investments are necessary to ensure cities are equipped to face mega-rain events, which are four times more likely to occur now than they were a generation ago.
During the 2021 legislative session, Senate DFLers continuously highlighted the need for infrastructure that can withstand climate-related weather events. We will continue to advocate for this critical funding in the 2022 session, to ensure Minnesota communities are able to protect local property and adapt to the challenges they face due to extreme weather.